Month: September 2013

The time that I kind of ran 20 miles…

I can’t believe that I am less than 3 weeks away from my first marathon! Unfortunately my training has been going only slightly better than my blogging these past few weeks- spotty at best. After a lengthy debate I made the questionable decision to tackle my planned 20-miler- I knew I needed to get a solid 3+ hour training run in and I also wanted to assess where I was at (vs. where I thought I would be). 

Going into this run I wasn’t feeling very confident- for my last long run (17 miles) I went to bed excited to wake up and run, for this one I was basically hoping for something to prevent me from doing it- not a good way to start. I woke up at 7a, after a pretty crappy night of sleep, and ate 1.5 pieces of toast with almond butter + jam. I was sure to drink plenty of water and actually stretched a bit (a pre-run rarity), as my legs were feeling tight for a 5-miler the previous day (another great sign). I could write a book about everything that went wrong on this run but I think I’ll stick to bullet points instead.

1. My “warm-up” mile was ran at a pace almost 2 minutes faster that what I’ve been aiming for on my long runs.

2. Miles 1-10 were also at a pace 1-2 minutes faster than what I’ve been aiming for on my long runs

3. During the first 10 miles I only took in 2 shot bloks and maybe 4 oz. of water + Skratch. At this point I should have realized that I was doomed

4. I slowed down a bit for mile 11-15, settling in to something closer to my long run pace, and started kicking myself for going out so fast.

5. At mile 15 literally everything fell apart. I was sweating but had goosebumps, I was dying of thirst (and by my calculations probably quite dehydrated at this point) and unable to get down any calories. Despite the fact that I was starving, all I could do was drink plain water.

6. I switched over to walk/run for 15-17.5 and knew that it was just a desperate attempt to salvage the run. I HATE walk/run, I know it works for others but it is hard for me and hurts a lot more, something about the switching back and forth. 

7. At 17.5 I basically collapsed into the grass and vowed that I couldn’t move anymore. My back/abs/shoulders were KILLING me and my legs have absolutely nothing left. I walked the remaining 2.5 miles (with a few half-hearted attempts at running) and really wasn’t sure if I was going to make it home.

This run was definitely a learning experience and honestly makes me terrified for the marathon. I’m not where I need to be (my own fault) and I obviously haven’t nailed nutrition. It’s easy for me to see what I did wrong- I need to eat more before the run and strictly stick to my “fuel early, fuel often” motto. I also need to be drinking more frequently, because that came back to bite me. By the time you realize you are thirsty you are probably already dehydrated. 

So where does this leave me now? 100% focused on this race. I plan to strictly stick to my training plan for the next 3 weeks and hope for the best. I have one last long-ish run planned for next weekend and I’ll use that to toy with my fueling again. I’m cleaning up my diet and adding in some extra core work (my abs are probably the most sore after this disastrous run). 

Any suggestions for how to come back from this terrible run and rebuild my confidence a bit? Any advice for me during these next 3 weeks? HELP!!!

I’m Still Alive!

Been lost in the real world, busy beyond belief, but I haven’t forgotten about this little corner of my world and I’ll be back on a regular schedule here in no time. Can’t wait to catch you guys up on all the exciting happenings in my life and blog my way through the last 4 weeks of marathon training!

Training Rundown 7 Weeks to Go: PDR + Blood blisters

A pretty solid per-my-training plan week and a new PDR have me still riding high so let’s take a look back.

Monday: Rest
Due to the Emerald City Half on Sunday, Monday became my rest day. I was pleased with the fact that nothing hurt. My legs felt 100% normal and I was so tempted to do an easy three or four miles but I was a smart runner and decided to trust my training plan.

Tuesday: 45 minutes cross-training. Strength circuits
In an effort to save my legs for my long weekend run I opted out of Jillian and did some strength circuits of my own. Mostly I used exercises from NMTZ and 8-minute abs, arms and buns in my own order but kept it a bit lighter on the squats and lunges. I felt pretty good about what I put together, especially the abs & arms, but I’m excited to hang out with Jillian again this week.

Wednesday: 50 minute run
This run was fine. I felt a little slow but that was mostly because I made the insane decision to run after work and it was super hot and CRAZY humid. I felt like I could not stop sweating afterwards!

Thursday: Nada.
I got called in to my second job so my plans for post-work cross training were ruined. That’s what I get for not working out in the morning though!

Friday: Easy 30 minutes of running
In anticipation of my long run the next day, this was mostly just a shake out run. I felt strong and the weather was nice so I actually wanted to keep running but knew better.

Saturday: Long, slow run. 16 miles!
I was literally dreaming about this run the night before, haha. I felt so confident going in and I think that made all the difference. I woke up a bit later than I would have liked but I still took the time to eat a proper breakfast of toast, PB (the real stuff, I usually go with PB2 but I wanted the extra fat/calories) + jam and a whole banana. I drank plenty of water and let my breakfast settle before heading out. During my run I ate one shot blok every three miles and drank a bottle full of Skratch. Towards the end of the run (when it was effing HOT) I was so grateful for the generous running clubs that offer “Help Yourself!” coolers of Gatorade. I think I chugged three dixie cups full during the last two miles.

The run itself was definitely slow- truthfully my slowest overall pace ever– but I am okay with that. I did the miles and only stopped for water and red lights (no walking breaks at all!). Post-run was so much stretching and a nice ice bath.

Sunday: Recovery.
Again, I was so pleased to wake up and realize that my legs didn’t feel totally spent. I honestly felt about 100% better than I imagined- which was good because I was set to spend four hours on my feet working retail! Upon putting on my shoes I noticed my long run injuries- crazy blisters galore! The second toe on my left foot was basically just one giant blood blister. They seem to be healing well though, which is a relief.

Total Miles: 25

This week makes me feel a bit more back on track. Though I look at my training weeks from Monday-Sunday (and the total there is super low) I did notice that with E.C. + my long run I ran over 40 miles in a 7 day period (Sunday-Saturday) which is another new record for me! 

This week is a dial back week so I’d like to really focus on more quality miles and better cross-training, as I know I’ve been slacking there. I plan on doing NMTZ, getting on the bike again and bringing back Wednesday speed work. My “long run” of 8 miles should feel like a stroll in the park, haha.

Running Form- I’m doing it wrong

For the first time in the three races there were actually pictures of me- yay! And not only one or two- a good selection. While clicking through them I was initially pleasantly surprised with how I looked- comfortable, enjoying myself, good outfit (ha) but the more I analyzed them the more discouraged I got. I couldn’t help but notice some serious problems with my running form.

Exhibit A:

Heel strike like WOAH. Granted, this is right as I was coming up to the finish line and the pictures aren’t quite as bad (still pretty bad though, let’s be honest) earlier on but this is  extreme. My stride is also pretty huge, but I am going to attribute that to the fact that I was “sprinting” at this point. 

Exhibit B:

Apologies for the poor quality, I just felt like this needed to be a bit larger

I am still running on the outside of my foot. Almost every picture really showed that. No wonder I’ve been dealing with foot problems after my longer runs! This is not good and I don’t even know where to begin to fix it. I’ve been trying to be a bit more conscious of this while I run but I notice that as I start to adjust it I start heel striking even more. During my 16 miler (which yes, I did finish. Yay PDR!) I had a lot of time on my feet to try out new things. When I really put my mind to it I could hit a good midfoot strike with no side-foot action but it took a LOT of concentration (therefore it was not very maintainable). 

I don’t think that 7 weeks out from my first marathon is a great time to try to drastically change my form but I do know that if I keep running like this I’m just asking for an injury. I have grand plans of starting essentially from scratch post-race- low, slow mileage with proper form and building from there. As for the side-foot, my shoes are coming up on the end of their life so my plan is to take some of the screen shots from the race with me to see if maybe a new shoe will help. 

Any suggestions?